For many of you the term is coming to a close, classes have ended, will be ending soon or you are winding down a recent unit or module. It’s been quite the wild ride this year with many changes and challenges, but hopefully some encouraging experiences and moments of excitement.
One of the most impactful books I have ever read is called, “Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher” by Stephen Brookfield. The first edition of this book came out in 1995 and a second edition in 2017.
Stephen is a highly respected educator and author of 20 adult education books and has more than 45 years of teaching experiences in Canada, England, Australia and the US. Many of his books are staples of Master of Education programs and higher education instructor training courses. Stephen has also won numerous awards for his insights into effective teaching. His words never go out of date.
As we talk about engaging students in being reflective learners and the insights it brings them in being better students, building more awareness of their metacognitive processes (learning about learning) and the importance of student self-reflection – I wanted to share some key questions for you to do the same thing.
Below are 6 questions that align with the key elements of Stephen’s book. Take 15 minutes sometime in the next few weeks to ponder them as you reflect on the past term, the past year or a recent course.
- What moment (or moments) did I feel most connected, engaged or affirmed as a teacher–when I said to myself “This is what being a teacher is really all about”?
- What moment (or moments) did I feel most disconnected, disengaged, or bored as a teacher–when I said to myself “I’m just going through the motions here”?
- What was the situation that caused me the greatest anxiety or distress–…one I kept replaying in my mind as I was dropping off to sleep, or that caused me to say to myself “I don’t want to go through this again for a while”?
- What was the event that most took me by surprise–where I saw or did something that shook me up, caught me off guard, knocked me off my stride, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?
- Of everything I did in my teaching this term or past year, what would I do differently if I had the chance to do it again?
- What do I feel proudest of in my teaching activities? Why?